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George Freeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« on: April 03, 2019, 10:55:20 PM »
 I played Diamond Springs back in September and have been thinking a lot about this hole (and the course) ever since.  Itís definitely one of the most interesting short/drivable par 4s I have played. 
 
Quick side note on the course:  you donít hear much about this place, but man is there a lot to like.  It is the quintessential ďeverything you need, nothing you donítĒ type golf course.  I wasnít sure how the two cut length mowing strategy was going play (green height and everything else), but I thought it presented very well, especially for $35.  There are a bunch of really good (and unique) holes and itís a lovely walk.  Golf needs more Diamond Springs.  For a more thorough review and a ton of good pictures (including of the 15th), check out the course review over at Fried Egg:  https://thefriedegg.com/diamond-springs-golf-course/
 
Back to the 15th:  If you look at the aerial of this hole, you would think it looks like a thousand other short par 4s.  Hazard all down the right; green at 45ish degree angle at far end of hazard; ample fairway out to the left.  Whack one up around the green if you can/dare, or lay-up out left and wedge in.  However, at ground level this hole is MUCH more interesting than your garden variety short 4.
 
For those attempting to drive the green, it looks like a fairly simple task from the tee.  From there, it appears the wide green sits nearly perpendicular.  Anything lost out to the right is dead, but you see what looks like bailouts long, long right and possibly left.  You feel like you have a lot of places to miss.  This is especially true if the carry yardage isnít an issue.  However, once you get up to the green, you realize that up and downs from around the green are no cakewalk.  The green sits in a little bowl-like area with the ground behind the green and to the left of the green elevated.  And once youíre up there above the green, everything runs away from you straight into the hazard.  Pretty quickly you can go from being hopeful for a short-ish birdie putt to playing defensively and sweating out a par.
 
But green and green surrounds, good as they may be, arenít what make the hole.  Itís the fairway Ė more specifically the fairway undulations.  Itís hard to pick up from the tee, but there is a spine and falloff that runs down the middle of the entire fairway.  And itís deep enough to completely block your view of the green if you bail out left Ė either on a lay-up or attempting to drive the green.  Thatís a very uncomfortable shot:  totally blind to a narrow green with a hazard right and tough up and downs all around.
 
So, if you decide to lay-up and want a great view of the green, you need take on the hazard and place your ball on the right half of the fairway.  I hit a mid-iron off the tee, pushed it right of my line by 5 yards or so and ended up with the ideal lay-up.  I didnít realize until I got up to my ball that had I hit my target, my ball likely would have tumbled down the ridge in the middle of fairway and left me a blind approach (albeit from the fairway).  Having the knowledge of the fairway ridge/blindness increases the stress of the tee-shot, because you know you have a pretty small area to stop your ball if you want to be in position A (lay-up). 
 
It seems like such a simple and effective contour for a short par 4. 
I walked off the hole thinking ďwow that was a really good holeĒ and ďwhy havenít I seen something like this before?Ē  Iíll post some photos of the hole shortly.  Interested to hear othersí take on this devilish little 2-shotter.
Mayhugh is my hero!!

"I love creating great golf courses.  I love shaping earth...it's a canvas." - Donald J. Trump

George Freeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2019, 10:57:52 PM »
DS #15 by George Freeman, on Flickr
Mayhugh is my hero!!

"I love creating great golf courses.  I love shaping earth...it's a canvas." - Donald J. Trump

George Freeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2019, 11:00:48 PM »
Looking back towards the tee from the middle of the fairway.  The ridge can be seen on the right side of this photo.  (I didn't realize until I got up to the fairway how cool of a hole this actually was, hence no pic from the tee...)
DS #15 - Look back #2 by George Freeman, on Flickr
Mayhugh is my hero!!

"I love creating great golf courses.  I love shaping earth...it's a canvas." - Donald J. Trump

George Freeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 11:01:49 PM »
Further right (left from the tee) showing the ridge and low side of the fairway.
DS #15 - Look back #1 by George Freeman, on Flickr
Mayhugh is my hero!!

"I love creating great golf courses.  I love shaping earth...it's a canvas." - Donald J. Trump

George Freeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 11:03:03 PM »
Looking at the green from the ideal lay-up.  Green is perfectly visual from this spot in the fairway.
DS #15 - landing zone by George Freeman, on Flickr
Mayhugh is my hero!!

"I love creating great golf courses.  I love shaping earth...it's a canvas." - Donald J. Trump

George Freeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2019, 11:05:48 PM »
The ridge continues all the way up even with the green:
DS #15 - greenside ridge by George Freeman, on Flickr
I don't have any pictures from a lay-up bail out left (trust me it's 100% blind), but this is what it looks like if you hit it up near the green but bail out left.  Very spooky shot in the 30-45 yard range.  You can just make out the top of the flag in the middle of the picture.
DS #15 - L of green #2 by George Freeman, on Flickr

Mayhugh is my hero!!

"I love creating great golf courses.  I love shaping earth...it's a canvas." - Donald J. Trump

George Freeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2019, 11:08:16 PM »
It doesn't look too severe from this picture, but long (or long left) of this green is a pretty precarious spot to be...
DS #15 - green closeup by George Freeman, on Flickr
Mayhugh is my hero!!

"I love creating great golf courses.  I love shaping earth...it's a canvas." - Donald J. Trump

George Freeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2019, 07:51:46 PM »
Bump.  Has anyone else played this?
Mayhugh is my hero!!

"I love creating great golf courses.  I love shaping earth...it's a canvas." - Donald J. Trump

Bob_Garvelink

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2019, 07:38:25 AM »
George,


Agree with you about #15 at Diamond Springs.  It is a fantastic hole and I love the risk/reward options that it gives you.  Diamond Springs as a whole is fantastic and one of my favorite courses in SW Michigan.  The finishing stretch is right up there with the best that I have ever played.


Pure Michigan
"Pure Michigan"

George Freeman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2019, 03:44:43 PM »
Mike D:
Is the ridge that runs down the middle of the fairway a natural feature? 
Mayhugh is my hero!!

"I love creating great golf courses.  I love shaping earth...it's a canvas." - Donald J. Trump

Jeff Schley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 02:53:56 PM »
At least it looks like the rough on the right will grab most any shot that lands in bounds and you have a chance to play it.  When and if that is ever shaved down would make it a pretty precise tee shot. Love anything Mike DeVries.
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Mike_DeVries

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Diamond Springs (DeVries) - Par 4 15th
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 11:30:27 PM »
Mike D:
Is the ridge that runs down the middle of the fairway a natural feature?


George,


Yes, natural ridge, with just some clean-up of the form.


Great description of the hole and its options!  a very cool place and a major bargain for golf and drama with the gorge available to play around, over, and next to on 6 holes.


Cheers,
Mike


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